Social Exclusion

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s): 129
  • Published: April 1, 2009
Read full document
Text Preview
Social exclusionIntroductionSocial exclusion has a negative impact on the well-being of the concerned population, and is regarded as an alternative conceptualization of poverty. Social exclusion has four dimensions: economic, political, social relations, and welfare exclusion. Elderly people are amongst the most vulnerable groups for being socially excluded. Social Exclusion is a multifaceted and multi-dimensional development. It involves the lack or refutation of resources' rights' commodities and services' and the incapability to contribute in the ordinary relationships and activities accessible to the preponderance of people in the social order' whether in financial' social' cultural or political arenas. It affects both the excellence of life of individuals and the evenhandedness and consistency of society as a whole.' (Hobcraft, J., and Kiernan 1999)A crucial aspect of current academic and public debates about social exclusion concerns the integration of new minority racial and ethnic communities in wider British society. The interest in this process is increasingly being expressed in terms of the amount and quality of social capital that these minorities are said to possess and use: some groups are presumed to have high levels of social capital, whilst others are said to have too little, the 'wrong' kinds or none at all. The questions which arise from this concern are not, however, new to students of trends in public policy or in academic social studies over the past four or so decades. (Morris 2005) A necessary starting point, however, is the general context in which such debates have taken, and are taking, place in the post-imperial socio-political order emerging in Britain. The context There are two closely related general points regarding the context of these debates to be taken into consideration. These are, first, the range of categories of people involved, and second, an indication of what may be meant by the various terms being employed, namely, the notion of community, racial and ethnic identities, and social capital and family. Rather paradoxically, therefore, whilst much of the present debate about new communities concerns those that became settled from the 1960s predominantly, Caribbeans and South Asians * many of the issues being addressed today concern the newer communities as well, and this must be a challenge for both policy and social studies. It may be suggested, however, that we do not have to look far to understand why there has been and continues to be such an apparently unproblematic concentration or focus on Caribbeans and South Asians. (Morris 2005)Sociological reasonsLow income equals less choice, which in turn leads to reduced quality of life and social exclusion. There is often insufficient money to pay for essentials like food, clothing and heating, let alone enough to pay for transport, holidays and social enjoyment. This is especially true of older people, because of the prevalence of chronic degenerative illness and sensory impairment in this age group. These problems can easily incur extra costs, as they cause greater difficulty in coping with the essential activities of daily life such as shopping, housework, household maintenance and generally getting out and about.( Mitchell 1994)Benefit take-upResearch shows that actual take-up of entitlement to welfare benefits by pensioners is lower than among the population as a whole. It is estimated that about two million pensioners are living below the Government's guaranteed income level, and yet official figures show that some 670,000 people failed to claim their Minimum Income Guarantee top-up in the year to March 2003. (Morris 2005)In addition, only two thirds of those entitled to Council Tax Benefit were actually claiming it, and ten per cent of pensioners potentially entitled to Housing Benefit were also missing out. Forty to sixty per cent of people likely to be entitled to Attendance Allowance are estimated by the DWP not to be claiming...
tracking img